Just yesterday, 12 January, was released Remix OS, an OS based on Android 5.1.1 optimized for PC. It may seem like a minor news given that up until the day before it was still possible to install and use Android virtualized on any operating system or through a Android emulator.
However the news is important because the new Remix OS 2.0 really aims to create a stable, light and fast system that targets any PC! And I do not say this by hearsay; I tried it for about two hours and I was more than satisfied - despite being still in Alpha. Exactly for this reason, I do not recommend it to install it in dual boot next to your everyday operating system, but equip yourself with a USB key and try it, you won't regret it! 😉
Please note: also on Virtual Box it seems to still have some problems.
How to install Remix OS on a USB stick
First of all let's see what we need, the requirements and the tools to be able to create a key to start Remix OS on any computer with a USB port.
- Remix OS | Download in English
- USB pendrive. Minimum 8 GB with write speed (better if) higher than 10 MB / s
- That's all. First you need to download the file from the link above; to do this you need to tick the "I'm a developer and have read the above message“, This to understand and accept that Remix OS is an Alpha release, not a bug-free one, that may not work, etc. At the end of the download, extract the contents to a folder.
- Now connect your USB stick to your PC, then format it in FAT32
- Go to the folder where you extracted the Remix OS files and run the executable remixos usb tool B2016011102.exe
- If you use Linux, skip this and the next point. You can use it comfortably USB boot disk creation.
- Now, through Browse, select the path where you extracted Remix OS, then choose the file Remix OS for PC 64 B2016011201 Alpha.iso. Finally in the drop-down menu select your pendrive and press OK.
[Click the images to enlarge them]
Upon completion, we will be prompted to restart the PC for start Remix OS from USB stick. Obviously it is not essential to complete the installation, so you can also exit and restart at a later time.
The first start of Remix OS
Upon reboot you need to log in to BIOS (the key varies from PC to PC) to choose the USB key as the main boot (in case it is active secure boot, you will need to disable it). Once this is done, we can restart the machine again to finally start Remix OS. We will be asked right away if start up Guest Mode o Resident Mode; the first one will not save anything during the session, nor files, nor settings and at every start we will find everything as the first time. The second one, however, will allow us to save everything in the memory of our USB key: apps, files, settings, photos and more. At each start we will find everything as previously left.
Please note: some users have problems starting one or the other. It may depend on the PC, but also on the stick.
The first startup can take more than 5 minutes. The speed of writing on the key will be detected and, should this be insufficient, we will be asked whether to continue with the start or not. In my case it has just detected 3 MB / s with the result of various lag during use and some force close. Despite this I managed to use it for around 2 hours. I will try another key to test some games, but at the moment I can assure you that it promises good! [Click on images to enlarge]
Please note: during the brief initial configuration, you can choose only between English and Chinese; choose English and then set the Italian from the settings.
How to install the Play Store on Remix OS
No Play Store? Apparently in the latest release of Remix OS lacks the Play Store, or rather Google services, because trying to install the apk is like an update, but in the end it is not visible among the installed apps. It seems that this release is intended for China, where the Play Store is not present. But obviously a simple app is enough to have everything working and the solution comes from xda-developers.
Fix Google Services | Download in English
Once the app is downloaded, simply launch it and select "One-click to install Google Services", then go to the application settings and delete the data. Google Play Services e Google Services Framework. At this point restart the system and download the Google Play Services update. Et voila! You will have your Play Store nice and working. If it is not yet among the installed apps, then download the apk from apkmirror.
Some Remix OS functions ...
As already mentioned, Remix OS aims to conquer desktops and, despite being an Alpha, many features have already been implemented that I really enjoyed. Android was born for touchscreen devices, however this OS has enabled the right mouse button. Yes, if you're wondering, the touch works. At first glance, it is reminiscent of any version of Windows o KDE: bar at the bottom with a sort of "app drawer" or "Start" where all the apps are installed. Immediately after the icons of the running apps or apps pinnate and finally, on the right, the notification area, the clock and some quick settings.
To appreciate the keyboard shortcuts, especially on laptop who are equipped with function keys to increase volume, brightness, etc: in 10 few minutes, between installation and first boot, I have everything working, without having to install drivers or other stuff, as instead happens on Windows that needs to install the "drivers" for the mouse. The only flaw, regarding the keyboard, lies in the symbols: not all correspond with the physical keyboard. The configuration of the Bluetooth to transfer the screens was also quick; it was enough to connect the Bluetooth dongle to the PC, select the images and share them. 10 net seconds.
I'll test it better with a faster stick to make the most of it and I'm sure I'll follow the development of this operating system to see it evolve and improve. If the alpha release gives me so much, the stable of Remix OS will surely be a version suitable for any user who wants a safe, light, fluid PC, easy to carry around and with millions of apps. Probably not suitable for 100% at work ... I think of the Adobe suite, AutoCAD, etc, but you will see over time! In the meantime, I invite you to try it 😉